Bizzarro supports budget, regrets ‘missed opportunities’

HARRISBURG, June 25 – State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie, cast a “yes” vote for the budget bill today, praising the bill’s strong investments in education and job training but saying he was disappointed that it misses opportunities for realizing millions in savings by failing to address workers’ wages and closing loopholes for special interests.

“To be clear, there is a lot of good in this budget bill – particularly with regard to its substantial investment in education and the fact that it does not impose any new taxes on residents,” Bizzarro said. “At the same time, I’m disappointed that the budget contains some important missed opportunities.

“An essential part of our obligation when it comes to passing a budget is not just passing the budget on time but also passing a budget that saves money for Pennsylvania’s taxpayers. By failing to include a modest increase in the minimum wage that would help thousands of low-earning Pennsylvanians pull themselves off public assistance, we are missing out on savings of $100 million, according to a recent report by the Independent Fiscal Office. It’s not hard to image how the commonwealth could use those dollars.

“That said, I’m not prepared to let the perfect stand in the way of the good. I voted for this budget because I believe that on balance, it contains a number of provisions that will benefit Pennsylvanians and working families. And in the final analysis, that’s the only measure that counts.”